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Educational Articles

Dogs + Surgical Conditions

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is also known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head. This is a condition in which the head of the femur (the 'ball' in the ball-and-socket joint that forms the hip) spontaneously begins to degenerate. Over time, this degeneration will cause collapse of the hip and lead to arthritis.

  • Also known as acral lick dermatitis, this problem begins as an area of hair loss and reddened skin most commonly on the top of the wrist or carpal joint on the front legs. It often looks like a "hot spot." These differ from "hot spots" in that they persist despite treatment.

  • The patella, or kneecap, is normally located in a groove on the end of the femur (thighbone) just above the stifle (knee). The term luxating means out of place or dislocated. Therefore, a luxating patella is a kneecap that moves out of its normal location. Pet owners may notice a skip in their dog's step or see their dog run on three legs. Then suddenly they will be back on all four legs as if nothing happened. Many toy or small breed dogs, including Maltese, Chihuahua, French Poodles, and Bichon Frise dogs, have a genetic predisposition for a luxating patella. Surgery should be performed if your dog has recurrent or persistent lameness or if other knee injuries occur secondary to the luxating patella.

  • This condition is also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Legg-Perthes disease, Perthes disease, coxa plana, and aseptic or avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

  • The term osteochondrosis refers is an abnormal development of the cartilage on the end of a bone in the joint Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD or OD) is an inflammatory condition that occurs when the diseased cartilage separates from the underlying bone. It most commonly affects the shoulder joint but the elbow, hip, or knee (stifle) may also be involved.

  • Ovarian remnant syndrome is a condition that occurs when ovarian tissue remains inside the body after a female dog is spayed. This tissue can produce estrogen, triggering signs of heat in the dog.

  • In recent years, veterinarians have made great progress in understanding how dogs feel pain and the best ways to manage that pain. Many dogs will instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism, which, in the past, lead to incorrect assumptions about the ability of dogs to feel pain.

  • The definition of a pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside the lungs, but inside the chest wall. The air outside the lung prevents the lungs from inflating normally, and can lead to lung collapse. There are several variations of pneumothorax.

  • The portal vein is a large vein that collects blood from the systemic circulation and carries it into the liver, where toxins and other byproducts are removed. A liver shunt occurs when an abnormal connection persists or forms between the portal vein or one of its branches, and another vein, allowing blood to bypass or shunt around the liver.

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. The preferred treatment is to surgically remove the infected uterus and ovaries. Another approach to treating pyometra is the administration of prostaglandins, although the success rate is highly variable.